Suicide blast in Peshawar mosque claims at least 30 lives, injures more than 80

Peshawar (Pakistan), March 4: A suicide blast inside a Shia mosque shook Peshawar’s Kocha Risaldar area on Friday, with hospital officials saying at least 30 bodies were brought to the Lady Reading Hospital.
At least 80 people have been injured, according to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa minister Kamran Bangash.
KP government spokesman Barrister Mohammad Ali Saif said at least 30 people had been killed in the explosion, which he said was a suicide bombing. He added that two terrorists were involved in the attack.
Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Peshawar Mohammad Ijaz Khan said one police official was martyred while Asim Khan, media manager of Lady Reading, said 30 bodies had been brought to the hospital so far.
The CCPO said that according to initial reports, two attackers tried to enter a mosque in the city’s Qissa Khwani Bazaar and fired at the policemen standing guard. As a result, one policeman was martyred while another was critically injured, the CCPO said, adding that one of the attackers was killed in the gunfight. The remaining attacker then ran inside the mosque and detonated a bomb, he said.
Police official Waheed Khan told AP that the explosion occurred as worshippers had collected in the Kocha Risaldar mosque for Friday prayers.
Later, talking to media at the blast site, Peshawar SSP Operations Haroon Rasheed Khan said the explosion was a suicide blast and that two policemen had been martyred in the attack.
He said there were two attackers but only one of them was a suicide bomber. The SSP also told the media there was no “threat alert”.
He said it was premature to say anything about the explosives used in the attack. “Initial investigations are underway and we can share more information later,” he added.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.
A witness Shayan Haider had been preparing to enter the mosque when a powerful explosion threw him to the street.
“I opened my eyes and there was dust and bodies everywhere,” he said.
Evidence has been collected from the site, according to a tweet by the Peshawar CCPO account. (Agencies)